Ladakh: Leh-Manali National Highway reopens for traffic after 5 months

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Leh: The Border Roads Organisation has reopened the 428-km Leh-Manali National Highway for vehicular traffic after the arterial road remained closed for nearly five months due to heavy snowfall during winter, officials said on Wednesday.

The highway, an alternate route connecting the Union Territory of Ladakh with the rest of the country through Himachal Pradesh, was closed in November with the onset of winter and snow accumulation.

A Leh-based defence spokesperson said the road was opened for vehicular traffic by the BRO after the completion of the snow clearance operation.

“The entire snow clearance operation was executed by 111 Road Construction Company (RCC) and 753 Border Roads Task Force (BRTF) under Project HIMANK of BRO, in Ladakh region and 70 RCC and 38 BRTF under Project Deepak in Himachal Pradesh,” the spokesperson said.

“This challenging operation commenced from two extremities by two different snow clearance teams, working simultaneously and in sync, comprising highly skilled manpower and state-of-the-art machines. Project Deepak undertook the operation from Manali to Sarchu (border of Ladakh and Himachal) and Project Himank clearing the highway from Leh to Sarchu,” the spokesperson added.

He said the teams worked in extremely challenging conditions battling snow storms and treacherous weather conditions of high-altitude areas, clearing the national highway and negotiating four important passes, including the Baralacha La (15,910 ft), Nakee La (15,547 ft), Lachung La (16,616 ft) and Tanglang La (17,482 ft).

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